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Review for Project Jason, Yakima, WA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

In February 2004, my daughter Elsha M. Rivera, missing from Fort Worth Texas, became another victim and one of the thousands who go missing every year in America. Do you realize that every 30 seconds a person goes missing? If you do the math that's 120 per hour alone! WOW…..we never really see the numbers nor do we ever pay attention unless its one of our own. I myself am guilty of never taking the time too see how we are so victimized in this country that we call the " Land of The Free ". But are we? Elsha had 4 children ranging from age 8 months to 9 years when she also became a victim of the missing. The years have passed and the now the children are 6, 9, 10, and 14, and they can't figure out why no one has brought their mother home. As Elsha's mother, I have spent the last 5 years with severe depression, feelings of guilt, endless and long stretches of not sleeping, and even suffering from Alopecia, hair loss caused by stress. You see when you have a missing child, spouse, or loved one of any kind and you have no answers, you feel helpless and all alone. At least I did! I took myself away from the entire world and I buried myself in a world where no one could touch or reach me, not even myself, for I became my own worst enemy. I hated everyone, I hated the person(s) responsible for taking my little girl away from me and her children, and I hated the police department for not doing enough. I thought my little girl was the only missing person out there. But most of all, I hated myself each and everyday because I wasn't capable of searching for her financially or mentally. When Project Jason found me I think I don't even remember. I slowly corresponded with them. Kelly Jolkowski emailed me from time to time and she consoled me. She spoke of her own missing child, so then I knew of her pain and heartache, but most of all I knew she understood. So, when one day Kelly emailed me about the 1st annual retreat for the families of missing persons being held in Nebraska ! I wasn't able to afford to attend since I was out of work and raising 4 children, plus, I was not even sure if my car would make it! I also wondered what I would do with the children since I didn’t have anyone here in Missouri to care for them if I did go. I spoke to the children about it and they told me I should go. Miraculously, a sponsor came forward for me, and care for the children, and all I had to do was get there. Once again, I spoke to the children and they said “Mom, you need to go.” I was even more afraid the day I left for the long drive as I made several excuses as to why I shouldn't go. You see, I didn't know what to expect…..but I was so glad I did because the Keys to Healing Retreat was like being on a cloud for me. It was like the weight of the earth had just been lifted off my shoulders. I saw others there just like me, others who had been through the same pain, the same loss and the same fears. Other people who knew what to say and how to say it without being afraid to say all the wrong things to those who hadn't felt the loss and pain of a missing loved one. When you loose a loved one by death, you have one sense of pain, but you also have closure. I knew that feeling since I had other children killed, and I met that fear and I was able to lay it to rest, but this was different in a way I could never truly explain. The conversations, the people, and the gift of what each and everyone of us had to share was like I had awoken from a very long sleep. I felt alive and I could pinch myself and feel it. I even looked in the mirror for the first time in a very longtime and what I saw was a person who wanted to live. I felt rebirth, a second chance to come back to life after attending the retreat. I can now communicate with the children, where before I only existed with them we can sit down and eat meals together before I fed them and then locked myself away in my room. We can even pray together when before I was angry at my heavenly Father for allowing me to feel pain and loss, helplessness and guilt. It's been 5 years, soon to be 6 in February 2010, but one day I will find my Elsha, and I honestly believe this in my heart, soul and mind! So I ask if you read this, please help, and look deep into your heart and soul, but remember that this too could happen to you or someone you know and love. Elizabeth Rivera, mother of Elsha M. Rivera, Missing Since 2004 From Fort Worth Texas

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Many ways but with donations and from the public Project Jason could provide the "Keys to Healing" that we are in need of in order to move on so we can deal with our missing! Most of us still have other children and lifes daily issues to deal with!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The opportunity to meet other families who have experienced the very same loss as myself! But it is so sad that we have had to meet one another under these circumstances.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind and sympathetic to all our needs, they offered guidance as we seeked answers on how we were to go on in life without our missing loved ones! May they recieve many blessings for all there hard work!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Help Many More!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

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Role:  Client Served & I attended the 1st Annual Retreat in Nebraska in 2009.